Barbados sees end to AIDS epidemic

Steve Blackett
Steve Blackett

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Barbados is on track to end the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030, according to UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé.
The Caribbean country has already reached the testing pillar of the 90–90–90 target, with 92% of people living with HIV being aware of their status.
The Ministry of Health has reported that for six years in the past decade no babies have been born with HIV, paving the way for the country to work towards being validated by the World Health Organization as having eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
During a visit to Barbados earlier this month, Sidibé congratulated the country on the progress made in the national AIDS response.
Barbados Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development Steve Blackett reaffirmed the country’s commitment to fast-tracking the AIDS program and noted that in the new phase, the country Barbados is addressing the social determinants that support HIV transmission, including intergenerational poverty and transactional sex.
Barbados has established a unique database of research and resources relating to HIV in the Caribbean. It is also using data to refine its approaches to prevention.
With support from the U.S. government, the country is constructing a new, amalgamated laboratory, improving the facilities that currently serve the entire eastern Caribbean.
Efforts to develop policies and legislation that protect people living with HIV and people who experience discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation are also ongoing.